Festivals & Events

Festivals & Events


French public holidays are influenced by the important Catholic holidays, with the exception of Good Friday which is only observed in the Alsace prefecture. While most of them are movable, the Assumption of Mary into Heaven always falls on August 15, All Saints' Day on November 1, and Christmas on December 25. Other holidays include the New Year (Jan 1), May Day (May 1), Victory Day (May 8), Bastille Day (July 14), and Armistice Day (November 11). It is advisable to plan ahead for your travel arrangements, especially during the French school holidays which typically fall on late October through early November, Christmas, Easter, days in between May Day and Victory Day, and summer. Unlike its big neighbor to the east, France has one date for all the country on which vacations start and end. Naturally on and around this day, streets become crowded and prices for trains and planes skyrocket. If you can avoid travel during these times, do.

Date English name Local name Remarks
1 January New Year's Day Nouvel an / Jour de l'an / Premier de l'an  
moveable Good Friday Vendredi saint Friday before Easter Sunday (observed only in Alsace and Moselle)
moveable Easter Monday Lundi de Pâques Monday after Easter Sunday (one day after Easter Sunday)
1 May May Day/Labour Day Fête du Travail / Fête des Travailleurs  
8 May Victory in Europe Day Fête de la Victoire End of hostilities in Europe in World War II
moveable Ascension Day Ascension Thursday, 39 days after Easter Sunday
moveable Whit Monday Lundi de Pentecôte Monday after Pentecost (50 days after Easter), observed only in some businesses, see notes
14 July Bastille Day Fête nationale French National Day, commemorates the Feast of the Federation
15 August Assumption of Mary to Heaven Assomption  
1 November All Saints' Day Toussaint  
11 November Armistice Day Armistice de 1918 End of World War I
25 December Christmas Day Noël  
26 December St. Stephen's Day Saint-Étienne Observed only in Alsace and Moselle

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France - Travel guide